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Tourism in Queensland

With its picturesque coastlines, ancient rainforests, Indigenous cultures and spirit of adventure, it’s easy to see why Queensland is one of the world’s strongest tourism regions. Queensland is well-known as an aviation hub of the Asia-Pacific region and boasts more domestic and international airports than any other Australian state or territory.

During 2020, Queensland’s overnight visitors spent $13.2 billion or $36.0 million per day in the state. In 2019 prior to COVID-19, visitors to Queensland spent $69.9 million per day on average ($25.5 billion in total)*. This diverse region attracts tourists looking to shop, explore, relax and discover, and it’s a favourite with domestic and international travellers alike.

Queensland has a strong tourism industry network. The industry’s peak body, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, is joined by a host of specific industry associations including Adventure Queensland, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, Caravanning Queensland, the Queensland Hotels Association and the Queensland Information Centres Association.

These industry bodies work closely with state and local governments and regional tourism organisations to showcase Queensland’s world-class destinations and experiences. Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), the state tourism organisation, leads marketing, destination and experience development and major events. Government and industry come together to grow the visitor economy through a major annual industry event as well as regular ‘conversations with industry’ throughout the year.

The strength of the state’s tourism sector is also reflected in the quality of its tourism education and research. Queensland is home to Australia’s largest and top-ranked tourism research institute, the Griffith Institute for Tourism at Griffith University. The Institute was ranked 3rd globally for tourism research in the most recent Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

*Source: Tourism Research Australia - International and National Visitor Surveys. Overnight visitor expenditure only.

Incentives, grants and support

The Queensland Government has created several tourism infrastructure and investment initiatives in response to the changing needs of consumers, to grow future demand and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Through programs such as the Attracting Tourism Fund and Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the state government is continually investing in new tourism attractions, products and experiences, major projects as well as growing aviation access to the state.

Queensland’s Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport supports tourism investors and developers of tourism products with:

  • help to navigate government and development processes
  • access to economic and tourism data to support decision-making
  • targeted tourism investment attraction initiatives.

The state government also has a track record of working closely with industry to develop a skilled tourism workforce ready to meet industry needs. Tourism operators can access a range of government and Queensland Tourism Industry Council programs that support businesses to train, employ and develop staff.

There is also the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency, Trade and Investment Queensland, to help international investors and trade partners harness opportunities by opening doors to local industry, economic development organisations, and local and state government agencies.

Case studies

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane’s $3.6 billion project will reinforce Brisbane’s reputation as a global tourism destination.  The world-class integrated resort and entertainment precinct set to open in 2022 comprises four new luxury hotels, world-class restaurants and bars and three levels of luxury retail.

Brisbane’s safe environment, enviable climate, and proximity to both Asia and Australia’s major regional centres, created a compelling investment opportunity for the Destination Brisbane Consortium (DBC), led by The Star Entertainment Group, and delivered in partnership with Hong-Kong based consortium partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium. Once operational, the project is expected to provide 8,000 new jobs and attract 1.39 million additional tourists per year.